WW Photo Challenge: Time Travel

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter T. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Time Travel for the T.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

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Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

WW Photo Challenge: Storm

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter S. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Storm for the S.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Backup worries

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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A month ago, my old computer broke. It was still working, kind of, but so sluggishly and reluctantly, I knew it was dying. In a panic, lest I lose all my files, I frantically started to do backup.

Before that point, I had told myself multiple times that I needed to backup my hard drive, do it regularly, do it often, but I kept procrastinating for some reason. On the day I realized my computer was busted and I needed a new one, I hadn’t done any backup for over a year.

Ouch! It was a terrible realization. And my backup proceeded so slowly, it took me 3 days to backup half the files. Imagine my frustration and anxiety during those days. My stomach was tied in knots. I couldn’t think of losing so much: all my fiction, my newspaper articles for a dozen years, and all my images – my classic art collection, lots of photographs from several free image sites, and my book covers.

I bought a new computer, of course. Fortunately, the techs at the store were able to transfer all my files to the new computer. I was giddy with relief.

Now, I made a resolution to backup all my files to flash drives often, so I won’t be in such a dire situation again. But I’m thinking that maybe I should have a second backup medium. Maybe an external hard drive or an online depository. I looked into one online cloud possibility, but it only offered a limited amount of storage for free, 1G or some such, and my art folder alone is almost 40G.

What do you know about backup options, preferably free? Any opinions? Personal experiences? What is good? What isn’t? Tell me in the comments.

 

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Posted in Insecure Writer's Support Group, Olga Godim, Writing | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

WW Photo Challenge: Roses

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter R. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Roses for the R.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Shooting in Pittsburgh synagogue

Just read about the terrific shooting in Pittsburgh synagogue yesterday. So much hatred, without reason or provocation, just because those people are Jews. My grandmother’s entire family died in the Holocaust because of that same hatred, and it keeps rearing its ugly head again and again, so many years after the Nazis’ anti-Semitic campaign in Europe almost eradicated my nation.

I’m a Jew too, although I don’t go to synagogue. I feel such a profound compassion for the victims and their families; I mourn with them. This hate crime was directed at me. At my children. At my identity. Why did he do it? Why does that killer hate us so much?

I don’t usually read the news – I dislike politics – but this report caught my eyes on the internet for two reasons. First, because I’m a Jew. Second, because it happened in Pittsburgh. You see, Pittsburgh is a location of my favorite fantasy series of books by Wen Spencer. In her world, elves and magic live in Pittsburgh. Of course, the elves have enemies, and there is struggle and controversy aplenty, like in any fantasy novel, but even those malevolent enemies of the elves have a reason for their hatred. Unlike the man who picked up his guns and headed to a synagogue on a peaceful Saturday morning just because he wanted to shoot the Jews.

In Wen Spencer’s Elfhome universe, there is no antisemitism in Pittsburgh. I want to live in her world. I even wrote a fan-fiction novella set in her version of Pittsburgh. I’ve started posting it on my wattpad account. If you’re interested in what could’ve happened in Pittsburgh with elves, sans a crazy synagogue shooter, here is the link.

Posted in Fantasy, Novella, Olga Godim, wattpad, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

WW Photo Challenge: Queen

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter Q. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Queen for the Q.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

WW Photo Challenge: Pirate

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter P. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Pirate for the P.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

The background with the ships is a classical painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853).

If you want a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

WEP: Deja vu or Voodoo

This WEP entry is the Chapter 5 of my fanfiction novella Magic Senegalese. The story is set in Wen Spencer’s Elfhome universe. Please check out the other WEP challenge participants here. To remind you what has gone before in my story, you could read:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
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Naomi followed Dina’s instructions and found the superstore with no problem. After piling everything on Dina’s list plus a few items of her own into her shopping cart, she endured a long lineup to one of the cashiers. Clearly, Dina was right: everyone in Pittsburgh stockpiled their groceries the day after Shutdown. The line took over an hour to get through.

She stored the bags in the boot and in the truncated backseat of her Beetle and started to retrace her route to the yarn shop. After a while, she realized that she had taken a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. She needed a Pittsburgh street atlas, in addition to the local flora and fauna guide, she thought in irritation. She needed a whole damn encyclopedia to understand this nutty place.

She looked for somebody to ask directions, but strangely, nobody was around. The street felt abandoned, the houses shut up, their paint peeling. Assorted detritus and weeds chocked the front yards. A breeze blew yellow autumn leaves off the trees and across the cracked pavement.

Getting nervous, Naomi watched for any signs of danger. Strangle vines. Steel spinners. How did they even look?  Could they get inside a car? How would she recognize any of those biohazards? She knew how a saurus looked from a TV show, but that was small comfort. It could probably smash her car.

A purely human cry for help from a house she was passing felt like a relief. She stopped. The house looked as abandoned as the rest, its windows boarded. Maybe she didn’t really hear that cry.

“Help!” a childish voice called again.

Damn, she did hear it, and nobody else was in sight, just like yesterday. She had to do something. Naomi checked to make sure the Mace spray was in her purse and climbed out of the car. Prompted by her growing paranoia, she grabbed a crowbar from the car boot. It wouldn’t be much help against a dinosaur, but it made her feel safer. Only then, cautiously, she tiptoed along a narrow gravel path to the porch.

Her head swiveled from left to right, searching for monsters. No creature jumped at her, but the realization hit: the abandonment was an illusion. Although the large window beside the front door was still boarded, and the boards seemed old and grey, the door sported a new padlock.

“Help!” the voice behind the door screamed once more. Frantic fists pounded. “Whoever you’re. Please! They’ll kill me.”

“Okay, wait,” Naomi said. “I’m here. The door is locked. Who is going to kill you?”

“He’s gone to buy food, but he’ll be back soon. Hurry.”

“Is there a back door?” Naomi tried to project a calm reassurance she was far from feeling.

The inside girl sniffled audibly. “It’s locked too,” she said.

“Perhaps I should call the police.”

“He’ll be back soon,” the girl said forlornly. “They won’t have time.”

“Okay.” Naomi studied the crowbar in her hand. “I’ll try to pry the boards off this window.”

She had never done anything like this before—she wasn’t a DIY person—but she persevered. The girl on the other side whimpered piteously. At last, one board came loose. Another. She could at last see the girl inside the house. Huge terrified eyes glimmered in the small face. Elven ears strained up over the short uneven haircut. Another elven child? A dizzying sense of deja vu swept over Naomi.

“One more board, and you could climb through,” she said soothingly. The board moaned, as she pushed the crowbar harder. Naomi didn’t hear the footsteps. Her only warning was a horrified “No!” from inside the house.

She whirled and dropped the crowbar at the sight of a man with a gun, the same one who had mugged Dina yesterday. He might’ve recognized her too, because he smiled maliciously as he mounted the steps.

Naomi’s eyes were glued to his gun, only a couple steps away from her. He said something and sniggered, but she didn’t listen. Feeling strangely calm, she lifted her left hand as if to ward off the bullets, while her right hand crept furtively into the purse hanging at her side. Blindly, she palmed the Mace, set her finger on the trigger, and whipped it out. Squeezing her eyes shut and holding her breath, she stretched her arm into his face and pushed the trigger.

The spray hissed, and the man howled. Something clattered to the porch deck, probably the gun. Naomi backed off and risked a peek. Her eyes and nose stung and watered, but not badly. She could see him. He got a full blast of Mace in the face and was clawing at his eyes, yelling incomprehensible words, probably dire curses, and spinning aimlessly. The girl inside the house screeched too, but Naomi’s unnatural calm persisted. She inched towards him, picked up her crowbar, swung, and brought the tines down on his head. Something crackled loudly. He stopped screaming and dropped. And lay still. Blood oozed from under his head, soaking into the old wood of the porch.

Naomi picked up his gun, put it into her purse, and started shaking. She couldn’t work on the boarded window anymore. Her palms were sweaty, and her arms seemed boneless. They wouldn’t hold the crowbar. It hit the deck with a muted thump. Maybe she didn’t need the crowbar, she thought numbly. Maybe he had the key to the padlock. Feeling detached, her fingers trembling, she searched his pockets and found a key chain. The third key she tried opened the door.

The girl shot out, straight into Naomi’s arms. “Is he dead?” She clutched at Naomi’s jacket.

“I don’t know. Let’s go.” Naomi tugged the girl off the porch. There was another car parked behind hers—his jeep. She avoided looking at the crumpled body on the porch. Her only wish was to escape this place as fast as she could. Holding hands, Naomi and the girl raced to the car.

Posted in Olga Godim, WEP | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

WW Photo Challenge: Necklace

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo on a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter N. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Necklace for the N.

My book covers are mostly made from images I find on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as free stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

The elf girl on the cover is by the incredibly talented Pat Ann.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. The fonts are negotiable, of course.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Illness led to writing

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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OPTIONAL QUESTION: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

MY ANSWER: One major event in my life not only affected my writing. It inspired me to start writing.

I became a writer pretty late in life. By education, I’m a computer programmer. I worked with computers for almost three decades. I’ve also always been a daydreamer. Since I remember myself, I’ve made up stories and played them out in my head, like a one-woman theater, but I never told anyone about my daydreams. They were my secret. I didn’t write anything down.

To tell the truth, I was a bit embarrassed, afraid of ridicule. I was a professional woman, a single mom with two children. I never thought I could be a writer, never confided in anyone about my daydreams, but I couldn’t get rid of the imaginary characters residing in my head, even if I wanted to. I didn’t. They always helped me through rough patches. I escaped into my daydreams and felt happy there, often happier than in my real life.

In 2002, I got seriously ill – cancer. During my long recovery, my daydreams became more persistent. Besides, I had a lot of free time on my hands and not much energy for anything but sitting on a sofa, reading. I always liked to read. Sadly, I couldn’t find many books I liked. Disgusted with the majority of published works that came my way, I decided I could do better than most books. It was incredibly naïve, of course, just proving my complete ignorance, but I guess, cancer made me brave. I decided to turn one of my daydreams into a written story.

From my first paycheck after I returned to work – I know the exact month, Feb 2003 – I bought a dedicated laptop, off limit to my kids, and started writing my first story. I never stopped writing since then, but I had discovered pretty soon after I started that I didn’t know squat about writing. So the learning process had commenced. It’s still going on.

As for how writing affected me – immeasurably. I learned so much since that fateful month, Feb 2003, I can’t even list everything. My writing brought me close to many fascinating people, other writers, and it made me, I hope, a better and wiser person. It aided my perception and deepened my compassion. I like myself much better now than before I started writing. Maybe my heroes’ courage and kindness rubbed off on me… at least a little. I always liked my heroes more than I ever liked myself.

What about you? How did life affect your writing?

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Posted in Insecure Writer's Support Group, Olga Godim, Writing | Tagged , , | 29 Comments